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From Farnham to LA: Film graduate carves out a role for herself in cinema

After working on a range of high profile projects including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’, filmmaker Hayley Dickinson has been signed to a US directing / writing management team and is set to move to Los Angeles.

Hayley graduated with a BA (Hons) Film Production from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Farnham in 2016, followed by an MA Filmmaking in 2017. Alongside her studies she completed a range of work experience, working as a runner and videographer.

Whilst studying for her MA, she secured her first paid role as a video trainee on the remake of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. The position allowed her to develop her video skills and she quickly progressed from trainee to assistant.

Hayley says: “A typical day for a video assistant involves setting up monitors and playing back clips for the director, as well as ensuring that he or she has a live picture from the camera at all times. We also set up videos for producers, continuity, hair and make-up.

On ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Hayley worked with the director Dexter Fletcher on the main unit during reshoots. She adds: “Working in video allows you to stand next to Directors all day. I shadow everything they do and use it as guidance when I’m directing my own films. For anyone wishing to get into directing, I’d highly recommend looking at video as a starting point.”

Of her role on ‘Dark Crystal’ (a 10-part Netflix series), she said: “It was the most creative set I think I’ll ever experience – the world brought to life through the costumes and creatures is incredible.

“On most sets you’d have anywhere between four to ten monitors– we call it the video village. But ‘Dark Crystal’ presented one of my biggest challenges yet, as all of the puppeteers needed their own monitors to see the puppets. There were times on set when we had around 50 monitors in place.”

Throughout these high-profile assignments, Hayley has continued to work on her own film projects and she’s now in talks with distributors regarding her first feature film, ‘Slick as Thieves’.

She added: “Studying for a masters at UCA was one of the smartest decisions I ever made as it taught me not just how to be a crew member, but how to become an all-round filmmaker. My MA film ‘Denouement’ is one of the reasons I’ve just been signed to my new role in LA.”

To keep up to date with Hayley’s career, you can visit her website: www.hayleydickinson.co.uk